Van owners to be hit again… and again?

Date: Monday, July 07, 2008

Thousands of diesel light commercial operators who regularly venture into the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will be hit by yet another new stealth tax come October 2010.


If their vans fail to meet the Euro-3 exhaust emission standard for particulate matter by that date then they will have to pay £100 to enter the LEZ. Fail to cough up — the zone is monitored using number-plate recognition technology — and a £500 penalty will be imposed.

All vans registered as new after 1 January 2002 will be deemed to meet the standard.

Other than selling your existing vehicle and buying one that meets the rules, the only way to avoid the new tax will be to fit a special exhaust filter produced by a manufacturer approved by Transport for London (click here for full details of the scheme). The bad news is that it's likely to set you back anywhere from £500 to £1,500 and your van will be subjected to an official smoke test to ensure the filter works correctly.

Manchester Congestion Tax

Still on the subject of stealth taxes, it was unclear at the time of writing whether commercial vehicles will be subject to the proposed Greater Manchester congestion tax when it comes into force in summer 2013.

“Vehicles that are exempt will be listed in a document that will be published ahead of the 12-week public consultation that will take place this summer,” a spokesman for the bodies organising the scheme told What Van?. They are the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

“I don't know whether the list will include commercials,” he added. “That's up to the politicians.”

“Any charge imposed on goods vehicles will have a direct negative impact on freight deliveries both inside and outside the charging area,” warns Road Haulage Association northern regional director, Geoff Dunning.


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